Pets: Black cats and dogs, often stigmatized, will be celebrated on this week's Pet Photo Friday
Lorrie Shaw | Contributor
Imagine a dog that has a sweet disposition, is in good health and has no problems — getting passed over for adoption. Sadly, it does happen, at shelters all over the country.
Big Black Dogs, or BBD, as shelter staff call them, are behind the growing trend. It's a sad and unfair stigma attached to dogs who were born as large-breed canines with dark fur.
Superstition, bias and inaccurate facts stigmatize these pets, and for some, they pay dearly. For many, it's a life lived in a shelter, waiting for a stable home and family to call their own; and for a percentage, they become part of an even more dire statistic: they are euthanized.
Some people find it difficult to "read" the dark faces of these pets: their black coats can make it difficult for their facial expressions to shine through. Faces swallowed up by darkness, they don't always photograph so well.
Those who work for the betterment of homeless pets in shelters will tell you that is one of their biggest challenges. Getting good photographs of pets is essential in having a successful adoption in this age of print and social media, and the Internet.
The expressions that we have been accustomed to visualizing when pets come to mind are fun, expressive, bright. Big, black dogs have to work even harder to get their non-verbal point across — if they are given the chance.
Read more about the phenomenon by clicking here.
Last week, our readers were able to illustrate the picture that they see each day: vibrant, fun-loving pets, just as capable of co-existing with us humans blissfully as canines of any other color. Check them out, by clicking here.
Our first week of two to celebrate black dogs started last Friday, and showcased local large-breed black dogs — and cats, because after all, they are affected by black fur bias, too.
Cats, the unwitting mascots of Friday the 13th, are considered "unlucky," and to have a black cat pass your path is bad news. Other unfortunate effects of folklore have impacted these animals' place in our society.
This week, we are once again putting our focus on these pets with the theme "Big Black Dogs and Black Cats" for Pet Photo Friday.
Want to participate? It's easy!
Simply email a photo of your furry friend to email@example.com, at any time of the week, and be sure to give a little anecdote about what's best about them. Your photos will be included as part of a very special edition of our ongoing Pet Photo Friday feature.
Please include the animal's name, age, and city or township of residence in your email. Be sure that your photos are 1200 pixels wide and in .jpg format.
We'll put the series' photos into a slideshow, publish and promote this Friday here in the Pets section.